Lightning-rod legislator: More letters about Kalispell’s Frank Garner

Another round of letters say yea or nay on Kalispell’s Frank Garner

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Representative Frank Garner, R-HD7, talks about House Bill 333, the Help Save Lives from Overdose Act, on Tuesday, May 30, before Gov. Steve Bullock conducted a ceremonial signing at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Garner, who is formerly the Kalispell police chief, expressed his belief in the importance of the legislation in terms of both civilians and first responders. Rep. Garner’s willingness to work with Democrats has made him a lighting rod for both criticism and praise in recent months, especially his work on the gas-tax increase used to fund infrastructure improvements. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake file photo)

Garner votes with Dems despite GOP party label

I chuckled reading the scant letters supporting Gas Tax Garner. One claimed attacks on Garner hurt the GOP; others chastised Republican legislators who exposed Mr. Garner and rebuked the many letter writers who require that legislators’ votes match their campaign rhetoric; a real corker implied Garner represents his Republican constituents when he votes with the socialist Democrats.

The more I investigate Mr. Garner’s 2017 voting record, the worse it looks. So far, it seems he has not found a government-enlarging, tax-raising bill he doesn’t like. And he voted against the right for school workers trained and carrying concealed weapon permits to protect themselves and students. Exposing Gas Tax Garner helps the GOP; courageous, principled GOP legislators boldly telling the truth does much to restore faith. If Republicans had routed out Frank Garner and his ilk, Montana would not have Medicaid expansion, the water compact and other tax-raising liberty-destroying monstrosities, and government would not be the largest employer in Montana. All those occurred while Republicans held majorities in Helena. A phrase used by a Gas Tax Garner fan, “numbers game,” has been rendered meaningless for the GOP, which has had a majority in both Helena houses since 2009. Principled, small government legislators in Helena are massively frustrated that for years, the dozen or so RINOs like Garner consistently vote with the Democrats, leading to progressive increase in taxes and expanded bloated government against the will of the majority of Republican legislators and their constituents.

If Frank Garner campaigned the way he votes, his slogan would be: Vote for me. I promise to vote socialist/fascist as I enlarge government, raise your taxes, destroy your liberties, hurt small businesses, help the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and make it illegal to defend yourself … Any takers? —Annie Bukacek, Bigfork

Garner is true champion of the people

Frank Garner has a lifetime of service to Kalispell, not just as our police chief and legislator. I’ve worked with Frank on many projects through our local Lions Clubs and while working with children with special needs. I’ve seen his selfless work with Big Brothers and Sisters, with Rotary, with the Flathead Valley Community College and with our schools. I remember when he agreed to go to Afghanistan to help train the locals.

It seems every time I turn around Frank Garner is doing something else with his time to benefit the people of Kalispell. He is always willing to take the heat for what is right for the people. All of this is in contrast to the complainers and C.A.V.E. people (Citizens Against Virtually Everything) who aren’t concerned about anyone but themselves. It doesn’t feel like they have the best interest of our community in mind. I’m guessing the reason I don’t know them is because unlike Frank Garner they aren’t involved in any of those things that have benefited Kalispell. Thank you, Frank, for being tough enough to stand up for our town and our future against the noise. Also, for not being a rubber stamp for the party bus! —Sabrina Wisher, Kalispell

Not-So-Frank Garner forgot party of limited government

I have been following (and occasionally commenting on) the sordid tale of RINO legislator Not-So-Frank Garner (“Gas Tax Garner” having already found its way into the local lexicon, I won’t wear it out). Remember, if you can, that the party of Republicanism is grounded in the principle of limited government and thus limited taxation.

Concerning the Sept. 24 splash of apologists/sycophants for/of Ol’ Flim-Flam Frank: What I hear in the headlines (“Garner does right thing for constituents”; “Garner thinks beyond party politics”; “Garner not afraid to ’splain his gas tax,” etc., ad humorum) and the content (To paraphrase: “Never mind that Garner tacked an extra 6 cents on every single gallon of gas from now until doomsday — or until he decides on another hike — Matt Regier, Carl Glimm, Mark Noland and Greg Hertz may have cost us dozens of dollars when they voted against a one-time write-in ballot bill!” Oh the horror of it!) are the cries of deflection and sophistry warbling out their cloyingly dishonest tune.

To his apologists, the fact that Garner has the chutzpah to turn his back on the principles of his CHOSEN party, and more importantly, his constituents seems to be some sort of act of moral fortitude (how many of the ones you asked [HA!] thought adding 6 cents to every gallon of gas was a really good idea?) ... while the voting against a one-time write-in ballot was clearly an act of fiscal turpitude. (Oh, please!)

And the fact that “Frank” was “open and honest” about his sponsored tax bill gives scant assurance to most of us. I’ll look you right in the eye and tell you why I support the things that benefit me and my brethren, too. So what?! The fact that you can give bad news with a folksy smile doesn’t make you a caped crusader — it just makes you a politician. All this posturing that Flim-Flam Frank is some sort of modern-day Churchill is gaggingly laughable at best. If Frank is so concerned about his role as protector of the flock perhaps he might have made this a referendum to be voted on by those now to be fleeced for his (and his cronies’) political machinations. Or how about being a real Republican statesman and find ways to reduce spending in myriad boondoggles, dead-ends, and dead wood?

Instead of bleeding the flock completely dry, how about stanching the hemorrhaging that is already slowly bringing the working and middle classes to their knees? Eh, Frank, what do you say? We’re listening with discerning ears. We’re watching with dubious eyes. We’re voting with clear-sighted conscience ... and that will be your demise as a “Republican” legislator. Maybe you can find a nice blue shirt to wear in any future campaigns (don’t worry, I’m already sure it will fit you). —John Embry, Kalispell

Looking for solutions by reaching across the aisle is Garner’s job as legislator

I am writing this letter in support of my House District 7 representative, Frank Garner. I have heard many are displeased with the fact that Frank work with the Democrats to pass legislation, especially the gas tax.

As a person who voted for Frank, I was very pleased with his work during the legislative session this year. When I voted for him, I expected him to work with both sides of the aisle. In my opinion this is how the system is supposed to work. Both sides work together to meets the needs of the whole state, not just one party.

As far as the gas tax, I was very happy that it passed. One only has to drive around the Flathead to see our highway infrastructure needs help. That is only going to come in the form of increased revenue. I keep hearing from many that there was enough money if you know where to look for it. That is nonsense. Now that it has passed, it is up to the Department of Transportation to use that money wisely and put the money into infrastructure and not more personnel.

Anyway, I just want to say thanks to Frank for doing what I elected him to do! —Martin Shrock, Kalispell

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